Blockbuster! It is the term each pharmaceutical product wants to be tagged with by their manufacturer. These were few and far in between in recent times. Hyper-targeted therapies, decrease in innovation, competition from biosimilars and generics, and rising payor influence in the health domain are making it challenging for even drugs with the potential to achieve that status. It is in these times that pharmaceutical companies need to look at a multi-pronged approach – based on internal and external factors – to succeed.
Our client, a top ten pharmaceutical company, approached us to identify potential opportunities for their novel immune-therapy molecule in countries where they had minimal or no presence.
The project team at phamax, led by its team of researchers (focus scientific research center or FSRC), applied a mixed methods research to arrive at the intended results. The focus area was Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA). Cancer management in EEMEA is challenging with the changing landscape of disease burden, low diagnosis and treatment rates, and general issues on access to care (both treatment facilities and drugs).
Among ~100 countries in the region of scope, the team narrowed down 15 countries on the client’s radar with potential opportunities. An extensive scientific desk research was conducted to understand the burden of disease, the current management scenario, regulator pathways, relevant stakeholders, and drivers and barriers. The secondary research was followed up with face-to-face interviews with stakeholders from these 15 countries with structured discussion guides (quantitative and qualitative aspects). The FSRC team mapped regional and national level oncology care centers and active advocacy groups in these markets utilizing Dendron (phamax’s proprietary global healthcare stakeholder network), findings from secondary desk research and stakeholder inputs.
The uncovered opportunities ranged from specialty centers to tertiary hospitals to large network hospitals to academic centers to non-governmental agencies. Based on the interviews, a potential roadmap to access was drawn for the client product with inputs on the potential business in each center. The shortlisted centers were then prioritized with an interactive attractiveness assessment index that evaluated the opportunities as per readiness and classified them as immediate, intermediate and long-term engagement opportunities.
The project outputs helped the client and their various teams in the following ways:
– Uncovered a business potential of ~USD 100 million just from eight of the top identified opportunities
Market Access teams:
– In-depth understanding of access related challenges: regulatory, cost and reimbursement as per inputs from the relevant stakeholders in the countries and the identified opportunities
– Prioritized list of key opportunities/centers to be tapped to access a drug in a country
– Recommendations on key opportunities to engage in oncology-related activities and explore space for novel drugs in the EEMEA region
– Relevant stakeholders for future clinical and medical initiatives in the region
– Understanding of clinical data requirements from stakeholders (clinicians and payors) as input for their internal data generation activities
– Outline of the process to access novel molecules in the key opportunities identified
– Terms set for negotiations as per the requirements and analogues of successful engagements in the past